On the evening of her disappearance, Wednesday January 25, Sihem left the home of her 95-year-old grandmother in the town of Grand-Combe around 11:30 p.m. She reportedly confided to friends that she was preparing to “join someone she knew”, whom the gendarmes suspected to be Mahfoud H. Since then, she has not given any sign of life, and her phone has become inactive. On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, the main suspect finally confessed, as revealed this Thursday morning by Le Parisien.
The man placed in police custody since Tuesday, was referred and imprisoned. Cécile Gensac, the public prosecutor of Nîmes, gave an update on the case this Thursday at the end of the morning. Here’s what to remember from his press conference.
The suspect’s confession
The 30-year-old confessed overnight. “For her, her family, her conscience”. He explained to the gendarmes that an argument had broken out between him and Sihem on the evening of Wednesday January 25. He would have “killed her in the context of an argument linked to their romantic relationship”, in the words of the magistrate.
At present, the suspect is indicted for “kidnapping, forcible confinement without voluntary release before the 7th day”. But the investigators having discovered the body, “a requalification of the facts will possibly be considered”, indicates Cécile Gensac, public prosecutor of Nîmes.
The discovery of the body
“A body corresponding in all respects to Sihem was found this night around 1 a.m. in an isolated champagne lane around La Grand-Combe, confirmed the magistrate during a press conference on Thursday. The first testimonies could suggest a disappearance in connection with obtaining funds.
After the disappearance of Sihem, an 18-year-old high school student, Mahfoud H., as well as his ex-girlfriend, had been placed in police custody. “The man was questioned about participation in the disappearance, while the woman was heard for failure to assist a person in danger. The latter was released, ”adds the prosecutor, who recalls that at this stage, the suspect still benefits from the presumption of innocence.
The indicted, 39 years old, is already known to justice. He was the subject of five convictions for offenses against property, and eight in connection with driving a vehicle. He was already sentenced in 2015 to 12 years in prison for thefts and robberies.
He had since been under judicial supervision. “He was released from prison after having served his sentence in full,” said the prosecutor.